The Hamas terrorist organization, which controls the Gaza strip, said on Wednesday that judicial authorities would review a controversial edict saying that women require the permission of a male guardian to travel, AFP reports.
The decision by the Sharia Judicial Council, issued Sunday, says an unmarried woman may not travel without the permission of her “guardian,” which would usually refer to her father or another older male relative.
The edict also gives parents and guardians power to block adult children or dependents from travelling.
On Wednesday, Hamas said it was "happy" the Sharia council had decided to rephrase the edict "to avoid confusion."
It added that provisions regarding single women had "been misunderstood as a total travel ban" and will be "amended."
The ruling sparked criticism on social media, where many accused Hamas of rolling back women's rights. The Palestinian People's Party, a small left-wing group, called on Hamas to reverse the decision.
Hamas has enforced a stringent interpretation of Islamic law in Gaza since violently taking power there in 2007.
The group has banned women and teenagers from smoking hooks in public, ordered that women's clothing stores are not allowed to have dressing rooms, men cannot have hairdressing salons for women and that mannequins shaped like women must be dressed in modest clothing.
The group also introduced a strict dress code for female university students, demanding that they wear “modest clothing” and has also passed a law stipulating that lashes can be given as punishment for certain offences.
Despite these measures, however, Hamas has come under fire from extremist Salafists in Gaza who say Hamas is not strict enough for their liking.